Category Archives: Audio/Video Resources

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Seeing Religion in China: Visual Essays of Religious Sites

In order to better understand and demonstrate religion in China, the Center on Religion in Chinese Society at Purdue University invites submissions of visual essays, including pictures/videos and text, for a contest entitled “Seeing Religion in China: Visual Essays of Religious Sites.” CRCS will invite scholars and professional photographers to form a committee to judge the visual essays.

Due by April 30, 2019


  • Grand Prize: $1,000 (one award)
  • Second Prize: $500 (six awards)
  • Third Prize: $200 (30 awards)


Each submission must focus on ONE specific religious site in Mainland China. A religious site can be a temple, a church, a mosque, or other type of site for religious activities.
Each visual essay should include 5 to 15 pictures (including short video clips) and 800-1,200 words (English or Chinese).
In addition to being visually attractive, the photos and text of the essays should tell a story or provide information about the religious site being depicted. This may include background and historical information, analysis of worshippers who visit the site, depiction of rituals carried out at the site, visual or textual representation of how the site is managed (leadership, relationship with state, etc.), or other relevant information. Visual essays may depict change over time, by including older photos of the site, or pictures of older and newer buildings on the same site. The text for the essay should contextualize the photos/videos, focusing on the religious site and worshippers rather than the author’s experience.
The visual essays may be presented in Word/PDF form, or may be submitted in another format, such as Esri Story Map. The photos/videos may be attached as higher resolution figures in addition to being found in the visual essays.
To learn more about photo essays, you are encourage to look at examples of recent photo essays from Time magazine and to read “Ways of  Seeing: The Contemporary Photo Essay” by Phil Bicker. 

  • Each participant may submit up to two visual essays.
  • Each essay should include 5 to 15 photos. (If videos are included, no more than three video clips, each no longer than 30 seconds.)
  • Essays must include complete information on the (formal) name and address of the religious site.
  • Photographs and video clips must be original, without alteration (standard optimization, such as cropping, adjustment to color and contrast, or removal of dust is acceptable).
  • Photographs should be in high-resolution JPEG format (ideally no smaller than 1920 pixels).
  • Each photo must include a caption of no more than 50 words.
  • All photographs/videos should be from the author, or list the source if not from the author. If a historical photograph is included in the essay, you must have the copyright or permission to use the image or ensure it is in the public domain.
  • The text of the essay must be 800-1,200 words in length.

In submitting a visual essay to this contest, participants agree to abide by the above instructions and acknowledge that the Center on Religion and Chinese Society holds the right to use all or parts of the visual essays, including photographs, videos, and text, in exhibitions, publications, websites and other non-commercial purposes without paying additional remuneration. The author will, however, be credited when his or her work is used.

The contest is open to all, regardless of age, sex, nationality, or country of residence. The awardees will be responsible for any taxes associated with the awards.

For details, see the CRCS website:

Inquiries should be sent to


The deadline for submitting visual essays is April 30, 2019.
Winners will be announced by May 31, 2019.

New Resource Website:

Sociology of Religion Resources —

We’re pleased to announce the launch of a new website of online resources for scholars and students: Sociology of Religion Resources. The site is still in its early stages, but already we have:

  1. A list of sociologists working in the field with links to their webpages
  2. Lists of relevant scholarly associations, journals and useful websites
  3. We’re particularly pleased with the beginnings of our library of key and up-to-date bibliographies by experts on a range of topics in the sociology of religion. We’re delighted to have a number of bibliographies available already, with more to follow shortly.

Bibliographies available already online are:

  • Michael Wilkinson on Pentecostalism
  • Paul-François Tremlett on  The Philippines and South East Asia & Structuralism and Post-Structuralism
  • Marta Trzebiatowska on Gender and Religion & Afterlife
  • Andrew McKinnon on Classical Sociology

Forthcoming bibliographies include:

Ateş Altınordu on Historical Comparative Sociology

  • Brian Conway on Catholicism
  • Daniel DeHanas on Islam in Britain
  • Titus Hjelm on Social Problems
  • Lois Lee on Secularism and Non-Religion
  • Dawn Llewellyn on Feminism
  • Joel Thiessen on Canada
  • Andrew Singleton on Australia

We hope that Sociology of Religion Resources will provide a useful service for students and scholars with an interest in the field; we’ll be very happy to hear suggestions for what kinds of resources that you think might be useful, or suggestions for what you might be able to contribute. So please feel free to get in touch!

Andrew McKinnon and Marta Trzebiatowska
Department of Sociology, University of Aberdeen
Sociology of Religion Resources —

Visualizing Global Migration Data

The Max-Planck-Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity

(MPI-MMG) has launched an innovative set of online, interactive tools that allow users to examine country by country, to graphically visualize and to compare the latest and most comprehensive global migration data existing from 1960 to 2000 (with 2010 updates forthcoming). With stunning new graphics, the data visualizers are for: global migration flow data from the United Nations Population Division; global migrant stock data compiled together with the World Bank; and, also based on the latter dataset, migrants by destination – that is, the number of people from any particular country found, at any particular time, in all other countries across the world. Where the national data allows, moreover, within each visualizer online users can choose to examine migration data by citizenship or place of birth as well as by gender.

To see and use these new graphic tools, please go to the MPI-MMG homepage ( and click on the heading ‘data visualization’.

Each global migration data visualizer has a set of instructions and an online instruction video. A ‘feedback’ tab is also supplied for comments, questions and user examples. An FAQ section will be continuously updated and the visualization tools will be upgraded accordingly.


The Religious Studies Project: Podcasts and Resources on the Contemporary Social-Scientific Study of Religion

The Religious Studies Project, in association with the British Association for the Study of Religions and with some support from the University of Edinburgh, launched in January 2012. This is a website and podcasting project, featuring a weekly audio interview (of around 30 minutes) with leading scholars of Religious Studies (RS) and related fields. So far, these have featured James Cox, Armin Geertz, Carole Cusack, Donald Wiebe and Graham Harvey speaking on topical issues, novel approaches and important scholars and methodologies of Religious Studies in the 21st Century. Future interviews include Grace Davie, Jay Demerath, Callum Brown, Linda Woodhead and many more.

In addition, the website also features weekly articles from postgraduate students and other scholars on the themes of the interview that week, in addition to other useful resources and articles relevant to teachers and students of religion in the modern world.

If you have any suggestions or would like to contribute please contact

Twitter: @ProjectRS
Facebook: The Religious Studies Project
iTunes: The Religious Studies Project

Yours sincerely,
Christopher Cotter, David Robertson, Louise Connelly (editors)
University of Edinburgh

Great Podcast Series Examining Research on Religion


As somebody who is interested in the topic of religion, I would like to inform you about a podcast series called Research on Religion that is sponsored by Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion and is free to scholars and the general public.  We are just over a year old and have archived over 60 episodes on a variety of topics covering sociology, political science, history, psychology, and religious studies.  It is a great way to keep up on what is new in the study of religion and to review books before deciding to purchase them.  Our interviews are more in-depth than what you typically get on radio, television, or in book reviews.  Help us spread the word about this great educational resource.

This week we are featuring Church historian Jim Papandrea (Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary) detailing his research on the early Church Fathers.  Last week we talked with Dan Philpott of Notre Dame about religion & democratization and his latest book God’s Century, co-authored with Monica Toft and Timothy Shah.  We will feature another interview from that book regarding religion and violence with Monica in August or September.  Next week (Aug. 1) we really shift gears and talk with Daniel Stiles, a rodeo announcer and former bull rider, about cowboy churches.  This interview has been my favorite to date and you won’t want to miss it.

Other recent and notable interviews have included:

  • Two interviews with contrasting opinions on whether the U.S. was founded as a Christian nation from John Fea (Messiah College) and Mark David Hall (George Fox U).
  • Byron Johnson (Baylor) on his latest book More God, Less Crime with a focus on prison ministry.
  • Thomas Farr (Georgetown and the Berkley Center) on how religion plays a role in US foreign policy.
  • Karrie Koesel (Oregon) on house churches in China.
  • Ken Wald (Florida) on the puzzling politics of American Jews.
  • Mark Driscoll on Mars Hill Church.
  • Carmel Chiswick (GWU) on the economics of American Judaism.
  • Robert Coote (independent) on the top 27 hymns of all time and why “Amazing Grace” didn’t make the list.  This interview was also a personal favorite.
  • Merisa Davis (independent) on her cousin Bill Cosby and black churches.
  • David Gallagher (Opus Dei) on the history of Opus Dei.
  • Darin Mather (Minnesota) on evangelicals and changing racial attitudes.
  • Alexander Ross (IPS) on religion and happiness.
  • Brad Wilcox (Virginia) on religion and marriage.
  • Margaret Poloma (Akron) on Pentecostalism and Godly Love.

And the list continues with such scholars as Roger Finke, Ruth Melkonian, Margarita Mooney, Matthew Sutton, Rodney Stark, Bradley Wright, Catherine Wanner, Marc von der Ruhr, Corwin Smidt, Brant Pitre, Eli Berman, Thomas Kidd, Ron Hassner, James Wellman, Paul Froese, Chris Bader, Jon Shields, Luis Bolce, Joseph Daniels, Ahmet Kuru, Nathan Brown, James Felak, Timur Kuran, Michael McBride, Dan Hungerman and many more!

Other interviews have included topics such as: the Muslim Brotherhood, religion & trust, UFO and Bigfoot cults, homeschooling, religious liberty, the Crusades, the Great Awakening, the Faith-Based Initiative, religious persecution, Islam in Europe, religion & health, the Protestant Reformation, religious charity, Mormon organization, and many more subjects for you to discover.

Many of these interviews would make great supplements to college or homeschooling classes on religion, or to share with your colleagues or folks in your own spiritual community.  Our commitment is to introduce listeners to solid scholarship while respecting people of faith no matter what tradition they are affiliated with.

We can be found on iTunes, Twitter, and our own Facebook page.  We encourage you to join our Facebook page for weekly updates about the show, special insights into the interviews, and sneak peeks of what topics will be coming up.  You can also use our social media links at the bottom of each episode’s summary to share the interviews you like with your friends and colleagues via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google and many other outlets.

Finally, if you know of anybody you would like to hear on the show, or particular topics that might interest you, please feel free to drop me an email.

Tony Gill

Anthony Gill, Ph.D.
Political Science, Box 353530
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-3530
Host of Research on Religion
Author of The Political Origins of Religious Liberty